Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maybe They Need a Pay Czar at the NY Times

Nice to see top executives at the New York Times are rewarding themselves so handsomely while slashing jobs and union benefits at their operations.

Based on the sagging performance of the Times, these jokers should be giving money back.
Those paydays that New York Times Co. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger and President Janet Robinson received last year are once again coming back to haunt them.

The Boston Newspaper Guild, which absorbed more than $10 million in pay and benefit cuts to members last year in order to save The Boston Globe, has lashed out at the Sulzberger and Robinson 2009 bonuses and are demanding their lost wages and benefits be restored.

"We were astonished to learn that the two of you received more than $10 million in stock awards and options in 2009," the Guild wrote in an open letter urging its members to send to Sulzberger and Robinson. "During the year for which you were so richly rewarded, the 600 members of the Boston Newspaper Guild gave back almost the same amount in pay and benefit reductions -- $10 million to be exact -- after you threatened to close our newspaper, lay off hundreds of people, and strip Massachusetts of its largest newspaper."

"Now that the Times has shown it can afford to lavish so much on a few top executives, we expect our pay and benefit cuts will be restored in the coming months."

The Times Co. declined to comment.

The company raised eyebrows earlier this month when it revealed in a company filing that the pair of execs got higher bonuses in 2009, a year in which the company not only threatened to shut down the Globe, but also imposed a 5 percent pay cut on Times journalists and laid off employees.

Robinson's base salary and options for last year totaled $6.2 million, a 32 percent hike from a year earlier. Sulzberger netted $5.9 million, also up 32 percent from 2008. The increases came even though their base salaries held at $962,500 for Robinson and $1 million for Sulzberger.

When word first surfaced about the bump-up in pay, a Times spokeswoman said the increases were driven predominantly by "payouts under performance-based bonus plans with pre-set goals."
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